Resumption Update No. 7

PARISH MISSION: Come and join us this Advent are our Parish Mission!  Presented by: Sister Maria Juan, RSM, Director of Faith Formation, Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  A three-night reflection as we ‘prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord’.  St Mary’s Church, Oak Ridge: Each evening- 7PM to 9PM, December 9th, 10th, and 11th.  There will be Confession each evening at 6:30 PM (please be in the confessional line before 6:30), and a Mass of the Holy Spirit to close it out.  Signups required starting November 28th, seating is limited, though the event will be Live-Streamed to the Parish’s YouTube site.  Childcare will be available.

THANKSGIVING DAY MASS: There will be one Mass on Thursday, November 26th: 9 am.  Seating will be limited, but no registration required.

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION MASS: Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (seating will be limited, but no registration required):

  • Monday, December 7th @ 6 pm; and
  • Tuesday, December 8th @ 6:30 am, 8 am, 12:10 pm and in Spanish @ 7 pm.

O.L. OF GUADALUPE MASS: Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (REGISTRATION REQUIRED, details TBA):

  • Saturday, December 12th @ 8 am and in Spanish @ 7 pm.

CHRISTMAS MASS: Mass for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) (REGISTRATION REQUIRED, details TBA):

  • Thursday, December 24th @ 4 pm, @ 5:30 pm (this Mass is in Spanish), and @ 7 pm; and
  • Friday, December 25th @ midnight and @ 10:30 am.

PASTORAL COUNCIL ELECTION: Saint Mary’s has two parish councils–the finance council and the pastoral council–and the pastoral council has two seats opening in January.  If you are interested in running for one of these two seats, please contact Father Shelton or Father Pontian by Friday of next week by noon.  This election is proceeding in a modified manner this year, due to the pandemic.

NEW LOBBY HOURS: The parish office lobby will reopen for visits without an appointment beginning next week. Visitors will need to wear a mask at all times while inside the office. Lobby hours will correspond to those days when volunteer receptionists are available, 9 am to 12 noon, and 12:30 pm to 4 pm, on the following days:

  • Tuesdays
  • Wednesdays
  • Fridays

PARISH COMMUNICATION: Our primary means of communication between the parish leadership and parishioners is usually the weekly bulletin, but for the duration of the pandemic our primary means of communication remains the “Latest News” section of our website. Please enter your email address in this section in order to receive “Latest News” updates as they become available. Our secondary means of communication during the pandemic is the My Parish App, which you are encouraged to install on your smart phone. A long-term review of our parish communications will get underway in January, with a final report made available to parishioners by the summer.


A. Brief announcements, if necessary, during the Concluding Rites of Mass: must pertain to the whole parish and be submitted to Diane Wright no later than noon on Thursdays.
B. Five small bulletin boards corresponding to each entryway to the church (plus one for St. Mary Chapel): must pertain to the whole parish and be submitted to Diane no later than noon on Thursdays. Our bulletin board policy is on the parish website.
C. Weekly printed bulletin: must be submitted to “bulletin@” email address no later than Mondays at noon. Bulletin submission policy is on our parish website.
D. Facebook: managed by Monse Cabrera. (Kathy Mesmer posts livestreaming content.)
E. My Parish App: must be brief, pertain to the whole parish and be submitted to Father Shelton at least three days in advance. There are also “groups” on the app that are managed by other parish leaders.
F. Parish website: “Latest News” section managed by Father Shelton. The website itself is managed by George Golightly, who adds and modifies features after consultation with Father Shelton. There are some pages on the website updated by designated parish leaders (these pages are kept to a bare minimum to ensure that they are kept up to date).
G. Vermont Avenue sign board: managed by Monse. Messages should usually pertain to the Oak Ridge community.
H. Emails to parishioners: parish-wide email messages are sent exclusively via the parish website’s “Latest News” feature.
I. Temporary outdoor signage: must be approved by George, and must have city permit if visible from any public street.

Also, please note that parishioners easily reach either priest’s cell phone by calling the office and then asking to be transferred (during office hours) or following the prompts (after hours).